Posted May. 18, 2017 07:19,
Updated May. 18, 2017 07:32
Senior members of the main conservative opposition Liberty Korea Party exchanged unbelievably harsh and vulgar language at a meeting on Wednesday, calling each other “cockroaches” or “day-drunk.” After Hong Joon-pyo, the runner-up in the May 9 presidential election who is now visiting the United States, criticized on his Facebook page lawmakers loyal to the disgraced former President Park Geun-hye for having hid themselves “like cockroaches” when Park was impeached and now publicly seeking leadership in the party. The pro-Park lawmakers called Hong “day-drunk” and calling for breaking the back of his head with a club.
The party’s factional feud is nothing new. However, the latest mudslinging for the party’s leadership posts happened just one week after its defeat in the presidential election. The electorate gave Hong 24 percent of the votes, paving the way for the party’s revival from a near collapse following Park’s removal from office. At the same time, voters gave the party a defeat by 5.57 million votes, the largest ever. Nevertheless, the party has shown no self-reflection or soul-searching. Even Hong, who vowed to rebuild the party with a neo-conservative ideology, fanned the internal feud with his harsh language. This is where the main opposition party stands right now.
In a Gallup Korea poll conducted after the election, voters who supported Hong said they did so because they liked his view of the state (23 percent), because he is a conservative politician (17 percent), because he was better than the other candidates or they did not like the other contenders (12 percent), or because he was energetic or relentless (12 percent). Many voters voted for him just because he was a conservative candidate, suggesting that they wanted to rescue the sinking conservative party and let it serve as a proper opposition party.
The Liberty Korea Party should do much more than reading the voters’ mind and having heated debates on how to reform and rebuild the conservative camp. Nevertheless, no one took the responsibility for the party’s trouble. Now, they are waging an internal battle over the control over the party. We want to ask if such an irresponsible and incompetent party has the qualifications for claiming to be the legitimate conservatives.